D.C. Public Library offers Dr. Seuss books, talks Read Across America Day


WASHINGTON (WDVM) — March 2 is National Read Across America Day, and it’s also Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

The children’s book author has come with controversy this year as the publisher announced they will stop publishing six Dr. Seuss children’s books. The publishing company said the decision comes because of racist and insensitive imagery included in the titles.

While the decision may impact book stores’ inventories, for a Public Library, inventory decisions are made through a process. D.C. Public Library Director of Youth and Family Services, Ellen Riordan, explained the process to WDVM.

For DCPL, there is a constant process of going through inventory lists and deciding when to remove books from inventory.

Riordan said, “Our main concern is that we want to connect people with the books they want. That’s the main driver of our collection policy and all we do at the library. We try to connect children to the books they want that will be important and relevant to them and make them lifelong readers.”

Factors that impact books being taken off the shelves include wear and tear, how often books are checked out, how other library systems address certain titles and what the “Library Service to Children” addresses specific titles.

There are also times when the library may keep titles that are controversial for research purposes.

Riordan explained, “Dr. Seuss is a very famous, well-known children’s author, so would there be a case where someone might want to see absolutely everything he’s written, and would that be something we might decide to do for a researcher? That might be a concern.”

The library offers a host of virtual opportunities to help children get involved in reading, such as Virtual Story Times at 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Upcoming Virtual Story Times include:

  • ASL Story Time, 2nd Tuesday of the month at 2 p.m.
  • March 3, 2021: Michelle’s Garden at 4 p.m. with author Sharee Mille with Politics and Prose

You can take part in virtual story time on the DCPL Facebook and YouTube pages.

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